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Old 03-21-2009, 10:44 AM   #1
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A few questions about building a wooden privacy fence in Florida


I live in Orlando and am planning on putting in a wooden privace fence. I have several questions, so I've organized them neatly below.

Q1: Permits, surveys and specifications

I have a checklist of items that was sent to me by my homeowners association. I want to make sure all of this gets done right to avoid going back and forth via snail-mail during this approval process. Here are the items they have listed:

1. Written request describing addition, change or installation.
2. Property survey showing where addition/installation is to be located
3. Specifications (copies of plans indicating dimensions and materials)
4. Other (samples, pictures, brochures)

I believe I'm okay with numbers 1 and 4. Are numbers 2 and 3 done by me or someone else. I've heard that I need people to come to my house to do this. Is that correct? If so, who are these people? I know that at some point I need to have the plumbing/electric marked on my property. Is this before or after the approval? We have copies of our property that have dimensions on them.

Q2: Back to back fences

My neighbor has a fence on one side of our property. It's not in terrible condition, but I'd rather put new fencing up around the entire property. Also, it's a different type of fence (same height). We will be using the panel-on-panel fencing for complete privacy. They have the type you can see through. Is it okay for me to put the fence right up against theirs? I know it's probably not an easy task, but I'd rather have it done right all around. I'm pretty certain that his posts have not been placed in concrete. That brings me to my next question.

Q3: To concrete or not to concrete

Being in Florida, I have heard that it is unnecessary to use concrete when placing posts in the ground because of the sandier soil. A lot of the complaints also mention how much of a pain it is to remove the base of the post if it happens to break (due to severe weather). I don't mind either way. I would rather the fence be as strong and sturdy as possible. We are in a compact neighborhood and wouldn't be subjected to the effects of high winds as others might. If it is up to me, I would use concrete. What would you guys suggest?

One other quick question. Do we need specially treated fence and/or posts?

Thank you for any suggestions or comments you might have.

Aaron

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Old 03-21-2009, 09:40 PM   #2
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A few questions about building a wooden privacy fence in Florida


A3

I like to use metal posts anchored in concrete. Dig the hole with a power auger, unless your digging is easily done with a hand post hole digger. Put some stone, chunks of concrete, or similar in the bottom of the hole for a bit of drainage. Set and plumb the post (a post level is a nice-to-have). Pour in dry quick setting post concrete - add water and mix right in the hole.

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Old 03-22-2009, 07:10 AM   #3
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A few questions about building a wooden privacy fence in Florida


Any construction close to a property line, especially a fence, needs a property survey. Just to make sure the fence in actually on your property.

Many communities have restriction as to what you can and cannot build, and what it will look like. Sometimes these restrictions are not legal, but often it is a good idea to comply. I have heard of places that prohibit the American flag. They would have to get me in court for that one.

Since you are in a major termite area, everything made of wood needs to be pressure treated, and setting posts in concrete slows the job of these hungry munchers just a bit. But on the other hand, you are not bothered by frost problems like we are up north. Concrete does hold things in place over the long term better than if it is not used.
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:44 AM   #4
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A few questions about building a wooden privacy fence in Florida


Thank you for your replies. I was initially planning on doing the job myself, but I'm going to get some quotes for the work. If it's going to cost a lot more, I'll gladly do it myself.

The places I have contacted says they do the jobs board by board instead of using pre-built panels. All of my cost estimates were done using the prices for panels. I'm wondering which way will be more expensive.
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:38 PM   #5
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A few questions about building a wooden privacy fence in Florida


The problem with panels is you cannot adjust for the ground slope and variations. And is your overall length a even multple of panels? Way back when I did a fence with panels and premade gate - was a pain - IMO. Stick built is easier and better - IMO.

Metals post in concrete (no termite problem, last a long time, strong, you'll replace the boards in 10-15 years and keep the metal posts, etc.). Brackets holding wood 2x4's spanning the metal posts. Upright boards of your choice on the 2x4's (use an appropriate spacer on the ground to correctly postion each board as you go). Use stainless nails or screws. The boards can go on one side, both sides, alternating, etc.

Attached is a screen shot from a flyer of a local home center showing some metal posts, brackets, and gate hardware. The bracket in the lower right can have a board placed over it to make it not visable - great look for either a one sided, or double side (good neighbor) fence. The gate brackets make creating a gate super easy.

Using these hardware items and concrete you mix right in the post hole makes for a quick and relatively easy fence build - and a strong quality fence that will last a long time.
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A few questions about building a wooden privacy fence in Florida-metal-fence-posts-gate-brackets.jpg  

Last edited by vsheetz; 03-22-2009 at 01:42 PM.
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